book review · books · psychological thriller · secrets

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager {ARC Review}

Blurb:

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Review:

Riley Sager does it again. I am not a bit thriller lover, but I have loved everything that Riley Sager has written thus far. What I enjoyed about this story is that it is not the horror story that you think. Riley draws you into the story and plants all these clues to make you believe that you have figured out what is going on and then BAM there is a twist. The plot development was concise and flowing. The storyline was intriguing. This story reminded me of a movie I watched about a haunted floor of a building, but I can’t recall the name of it at this time.

I have to admit that in the beginning, thought that Jules was going to be the typical unreliable narrator. She quickly proved me wrong. She did what she thought she needed to do to solve the mystery. She realized that if something is too good to be true than it usually is.

The history of the Bartholomew kept my attention. I wanted to look up more info as if it was a true story. That never happens when I read a thriller. I didn’t have to suspend my mind too much to believe this story.

This book will be a great last-minute summer vacation read or a nice quick thrilling read while everyone gets ready to get back into the routine for school.

Rating:

4 stars

Availability:

Available now in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook

A special thank you to Dutton Books for my review copy.
book review · psychological thriller · secrets · suspense

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen {ARC Review}

Blurb:

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. Bus as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told  what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking….and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no long trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Review:

When I learned that these ladies had teamed up, I had to jump on the wagon of trying to get an advanced copy to review. I really enjoyed their first novel, The Wife Between Us and was anxious to find out what else they have up their sleeves.

An Anonymous Girl also drew my attention because it has a storyline that I have not really seen before in a thriller. I am not usually one who enjoys a thriller with an unreliable narrator but this story was different for me. Not only is there one unreliable narrator, there are two! I found that to be so fascinating. Both viewpoints of the story kept me guessing. Each time I thought I had something figured out, one of the narrations would throw me for a loop. I thoroughly enjoy a thriller that can keep me guessing and I enjoy when there is a storyline that I haven’t seen before. This story gave me a Fatal Attraction and Single White Female vibe.

The only complaint that I have with this story is that there wasn’t as big of a twist in this book as there was in The Wife Between Us but that doesn’t take away from everything else that this story has to offer. Once you start reading it, you will want to keep reading because you are going to want to know what is about to happen next and if it is going to line up with what you have in mind.

This story will also have you questioning your own moral compass. How far are you willing to go? What lies are you willing to tell and what secrets are you willing to live with?

This is going to be a good thriller to kick off the thrillers that are going to be published in 2019.

Rating:

4 Stars

Availability:

Available January 8, 2019 in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook.

Thank you St. Martins Press for this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

book review · books · crime · Family · psychological thriller · secrets · suspense

Lies by T.M Morgan {ARC Review}

Goodreads Blurb:

What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect child—then, in one shattering moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? Now you are in the sights of a ruthless killer determined to destroy everything you treasure.

It’s the evening drive home from work on a route Joe Lynch has taken a hundred times with his young son. But today, Joe sees his wife meet another man—an encounter that will rip two families apart. Raising the question: Can we ever really trust those closest to us?

Joe will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as the deception unravels, so does his life. A life played out without any rules. And a cunning opponent who’s always one step ahead.

Review:

I am always happy to receive a debut novel as an advanced reading copy so that I can see what a new author has in store. I like to be “in the know” before everyone else so that I can tell them what they should they be looking forward to.

In this story, we have Joe who is the perfect doting husband who does his more than equal share when it comes to home life and raising a child. Not something you see every day in a thriller. Joe is taken by surprise when he finds his wife in a tense meeting with her best friend’s husband at a hotel. Of course, you can’t blame him for confronting Ben after witnessing what happened. Although, you want to strangle him because he should have gone to his wife first. After a brief altercation with Ben, Joe is drawn into a world that he is not prepared for and must do whatever it takes to remain safe and out of jail.
I didn’t pick up this novel right away because I thought it would just be another run of the mill thriller. I decided to read it because it is told from a non-arrogant male point of view. Despite his size, Joe is seen as a gentle giant. He tries not to the worst of those around him, even those he begins to despise. His foolish trusting behavior is no match for what he must endure to prove his innocence. He is soon thrown into a world he has very little knowledge of.

Joe is taken advantage of by everyone around him, including his wife and his job. He doesn’t have anyone in his corner while he fights for his life, literally.

Joe must learn quickly that he must look out for himself. And his son.

This book was a little over 400 pages and even though I didn’t go into it with high hopes, I was not expecting the twist of the story. I almost didn’t have time to process what was going on since I was trying to figure out what exactly was happening. The twist comes so close to the ending that you almost have a difficult time to process what has just happened. I will admit that there was a good twist to the story even if it wasn’t completely surprising to me.

I personally wouldn’t classify this as a thriller because for myself, it wasn’t exactly a “thrilling” read. I would classify it as more suspenseful or mysterious than anything else. I do appreciate the change of pace in the characteristic of the main male character. Not everyday do we get to see the average man have to fight for his life and his child, and maybe his marriage.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:

3 Stars

Availability:

Available on September 11, 2018 in hardcover, eBook and audiobook.

book review · crime · psychological thriller · suspense

The Last Time I Lied By Riley Sager {ARC Review}

Goodreads Blurb:

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

My Review:

I was excited to read this book since I recently read Sager’s previous book Final Girls which I thoroughly enjoyed.

This story takes place in the past and the present which I find enjoyable in thrillers where you know something has happened but you don’t know exactly what it is. It helps build the tension. Emma is the main character in the novel and you get a feeling that she has more to do with what happened to her friends fifteen years ago, you just don’t know how much. The story is filled with so many lies, that it is hard to keep up with who may or may not be innocent. One thing for sure is that everything is not what it seems and just when you think you have the story figured out, it takes a turn on you.

This story had me so intrigued that I stayed up all night to finish it especially after I realized that I did not have the story figured out. I liked the overall story and plot development. This is a thriller that shows the vindictiveness that people, most importantly woman, have underneath their veneer. They are just sometimes too able to camouflage. This factor definitely played a good part in this novel.

I enjoyed how the novel ended although it wasn’t just a closed door type of ending. It has the type of ending that literally leaves you wanting more but are still satisfied with the outcome.

I received this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:

4 Stars

Availability:

This book is available in hardcover, ebook, and audio

book review · Family · psychological thriller

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones {ARC Review}

Goodreads blurb:

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet.

But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.

My Review:

This story is told from Emily’s point of view. She is a successful recruiter who meets Adam and they begin a whirlwind romance. He is the picture of perfection for her and she is completely smitten. A few weeks into their new relationship, Adam sets up a tea so that he can introduce her to Pammie *insert smirk*.

At first, when I received this book, I immediately formed my own speculation about who Pammie was. I was thinking crazy ex who cant let go. Boy was I wrong. Pammie is Adam’s mother and let’s just say she is definitely not the mom I would want to meet.

Pammie’s behavior toward Emily was so absurd that I was almost convinced that she and Adam had something of a Norman Bates relationship. She is so manipulative and conniving. Man, could this woman put on a show though. She was so good that she had Emily and myself second guessing things.

Of course, Emily has to fight this battle of Pammie on her own besides confiding in her close friends and her family. Adam is of no help because dear sweet, sweet mom can do no wrong. Emily just can’t see what a wonderful person she is and that she is just a lonely woman who loves her son. Basically a bunch of mommy’s boy bull!

The closer I got to the end of the story the more I thought I had it all figured out. I just KNEW what was going to happen. I had all my clues lined up in my mind and then, BAM! Sandie threw in a twist. She not only threw in a twist but she twisted the ending completely out and that is something that is very important when reading a suspense novel.

My only  complaint is that I felt the ending of the story was a bit too rushed but not enough to take away from the novel as a whole. I am looking forward to seeing what else Sandie Jones has to offer.

I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good domestic, psychological suspense thriller and needs a quick read.

I received this book from Minotaur Books (a St. Martin’s press imprint) in exchange for an honest review.

I also reviewed this book on the 3 Book Girls podcast and I promise I didn’t give away any spoilers.

Rating:

3.5 Stars

Availability:

Available August 21, 2018 in hardcover, ebook and audiobook.

 

book review · psychological thriller · reading · reality tv

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll {Review}

GoodreadsBlurb:

When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

My Review:

My first thought when I heard Jessica Knoll was writing a second book was “I have to get my hands on an advanced copy.” I thoroughly enjoyed her first book The Luckiest Girl. Once I read the blurb and realized that it was about women on a reality show, I have to admit my enthusiasm dwindled a bit since I am not a big fan of reality tv. Then I remembered that books make everything so much better and my excitement came back full force.

We have 5 women, 2 of them are sisters and they are all successful in their own ways. Of course with anything, if you get enough estrogen in the room and add a dash of different personalities, attitudes and beliefs, drama is soon to follow. However Brett, Lauren, Stephanie,  Jen and newcomer Kelly did not expect murder. Each of these women has their own secret to protect either about relationships, business or lifestyle choices and they are all willing to do what it takes to protect those secrets and their spot on the show. This novel shows the level of viciousness and pettiness that women, and men  will go to in order to get what they want, protect what they have and destroy whoever their enemy is at the time of taping. Their showbiz conflicts start to follow them off-screen and some of them aren’t able to see where the line is between reality and fiction. What will they do for the top storyline? Whose secret will be outed? And last but certainly not least, who will be murdered? All these questions are answered as the story switches points of view between Kelly, Stephanie, and Brett.

I will say that if reality tv was more like this novel I would probably watch it. But alas, producers want drama and I’m sure they are steering clear of murders, for now. This was definitely the suspense thriller I needed for my palate and I can’t wait to see what Jessica Knoll has next in store for her fans.

This story makes you question what you would do for self preservation. Shows you that money is in fact not complete happiness, or is it?

I highly recommend this novel . I received an advanced copy from Simon and Schuster by mail and I was able to get a galley from NetGalley. This is my honest review.

Rating:

4 Stars

Availability:

Available May 15th in hardcover, ebook and audio where books are sold.

book review · books · crime · psychological thriller · suspense

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay {Review}

Well, finally I am back in the blogging seat. It has been long enough. Thank you for sticking with me. Today’s book was a surprise ARC in the mail from the publisher. I love getting those. I am much better at keeping up with them than the ebook ARCs, lol. I hope that you find my review informative. Have an awesome weekend!!!!

Goodreads Blurb:

They say you never forget your first love. What they don’t say though, is that sometimes your first love won’t forget you…

A police interview room is the last place Angela expected to find herself today. It’s been hours, and they keep asking her the same inane questions over and over. “How do you know the victim?” “What’s your relationship with Mr. Parker?” Her ex’s wife has gone missing, and anyone who was close to the couple is a suspect. Angela is tired of the bottomless questions and tired of the cold room that stays the same while a rotating litany of interrogators changes shifts around her. But when criminologist Novak takes over, she can tell he’s not like the others. He’s ready to listen, and she knows he’ll understand. When she tells him that her story begins a decade before, long before Saskia was in the picture, he gives her the floor.

A twenty-something young professional, Angela claims to have no involvement. How could she? It’s been years since she and H.P., Mr. Parker that is, were together. As her story unfolds, it deepens and darkens. There’s a lot to unpack… betrayal, jealousy, and a group of people who all have motives for retribution. If Angela is telling the truth, then who’s lying?

My Review:

I will have to admit that I was skeptical about reading this book but figured I would give it a shot since it is not a long novel and it was kindly sent from the publisher.

We enter the story with Angela, a twenty something woman who has been taken into custody because the police believe she may have some information about the disappearance of Saskia, the wife of Angela’s first and only true love. Immediately I got a “this chick is crazy” vibe from the way she was handling the interview. She is more of a calm crazy which seems to be the worse kind. Angela advises the officer that the story is not really about Saskia but about what has happened to lead up to her disappearance. Angela is convinced that Saskia is just pulling a stunt to get attention, which at the end of the novel you will find that very ironic. Angela tells the detective all about her blossoming romance with HP, her first love and Saskia’s husband. The way she presents her story you could almost feel some sympathy for her and the heartbreak that she may have endured with HP. Angela’s mother, in my opinion, has to shoulder some of the blame when it comes to Angela’s behavior and naivety. Her mother was very mentally controlling. She reminded me of Joan Crawford but without the physical abuse. Angela spends the entire interview backtracking on her past with HP and her present time with his family. To me that whole present day set up with them was weird and I thought that HP and Saskia were asking for trouble by allowing Angela to be so involved in their lives. Angela is a very self centered person and in her mind only her feelings matter. She certainly took her mother’s manipulative gene. In the end, I did feel some empathy for the men who passed thru the life of Angela.

I am glad that this book was less than 300 pages. In my opinion the length was perfect with how the story developed. I believe that anything longer would have caused the story to lose what bit of effect it had on me. It is definitely a quick read if you want a suspense that you can just breeze thru. I have to say that when I first started reading this story I could not stand Angela at all. I thought that she talked too much and that the story was going to be drawn out. Luckily it wasn’t and once I was able to sit down and spend some time on it, I saw how quickly it developed even if the ending felt just a bit rushed. But that is something that happens from time to time with these types of stories.

Rating:

2.5 stars

Availability:

This book will be available in hardcover, ebook and audio on April 17, 2018